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and Early Modern Studies
Edited by Carla Zecher and Karen Christianson
and Early Modern Studies
Selected Proceedings of the
Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies
2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Edited by Carla Zecher and Karen Christianson
Michelle L. Beer, Megan Gregory, Geoffrey A. Johns, William M. Storm,
Christopher Van Den Berge, and Melanie Zefferino Chicago, Illinois Newberry Essays in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Volume 7 Selected Proceedings of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies 2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
EDITORSCarla Zecher The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies Karen Christianson The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies
Publication URL: http://www.newberry.org/sites/default/files/2013Proceedings.pdf
Table of Contents Introduction, by Carla Zecher
Land, Sea, and Stars The Transmutation of Corpse to Landscape in Laȝamon’s Brut, by Erin Kissick
Saints in the Seascape: Interconnection, Competition, and Cultural Reproduction at Medieval Ecclesiastical Communities in Northwestern Connemara, by Ryan Lash
“These Divine Animals”: Physicality of the Stars in Platonic and Aristotelian Thought, by Stephen Case
Women, Cross-Dressing, and Masculinity Kissing Cousins: Incest and Sex Change in Tristan de Nanteuil, by Karen Adams
Womb Rhetoric: Volumnia, Tamora, and Elizabeth I in a Trajectory of Martial Maternity, by Lauren J. Rogener
From Libertine to Femme Fatale: The Fallen Woman in Thomas Southerne’s Sir Anthony Love, by Kirsten Mendoza
News, Law, and Politics Joseph Mead and the “Battle of the Starlings,” by Kirsty Rolfe
Diplomatic Dress: Fashion and the Politics of Display in the Late Stuart Courts, by Emilie M. Brinkman
Projectors and Polders: Patenting Trends in England and the Dutch Republic during the 1690s, by Steven Schrum
An Island Home: Jamaican Local Leaders in the English Imperial World, by John A. Coakley
Expressions of Devotion Harmonizing the Auditor Within: Thomas Ford’s Musical Setting of John Donne’s “Lamentations of Jeremy,” by Anna Lewton-Brain
“None fitter to do the husband’s work”: Women, Domesticity, and the Household in the Transatlantic Quaker Movement, by Naomi Pullin
A lthough this online publication of selected conference proceedings is number seven in a series, the history of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies annual graduate student conference goes back much further. Fran Dolan (then a graduate student at the University of Chicago, now on the faculty of the University of California, Davis) established the conference in the 1980s, to provide a venue in which graduate students could present scholarly papers to an audience of their peers, before venturing into the more intimidating arena of major national and international conferences. When Megan Moore (then Assistant Director of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies, now Assistant Professor of French at the University of Missouri) inaugurated the series of online proceedings in 2007, the conference had been held regularly for more than twenty years. Like Fran, Megan sought to create a unique opportunity for graduate students: an online forum in which they could make the preliminary results of their research widely available, while still retaining the right to use their work in future publications, whether digital or printed. Subsequent Center for Renaissance Studies staff members—Karen Christianson (the current Associate Director of the Center), and Laura Aydelotte (former Interim Assistant Director, who recently completed her PhD at the University of Chicago)—have ensured the continuation of the online proceedings.
The conference itself has grown from a small annual event to quite a large one, as more institutions have joined the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies consortium, but a team of advanced graduate students still serves as the program committee each year, to vet submissions for presentation at the conference. The program committee members also chair the conference sessions, select papers for the online proceedings, and edit them. The papers included in this year’s proceedings address topics ranging chronologically from the Anglo-Normans to the late Stuart courts, geographically from France to northwest Ireland to Jamaica, and thematically from gender studies to legal history to religious history. The authors and editors of the papers represent a crosssection of the fifty institutions that currently belong to the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies, including universities located in Texas, Pennsylvania, the Midwest, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Carla Zecher is Director of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies and Newberry Curator of Music.
L aȝamon’s Brut is one of several twelfth-century and thirteenth-century retellings of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Latin history of Britain, De gestis Britonum/Historia Regum Brittaniae.1 Geoffrey’s text is the oldest extant source not only for many of the legends of King Arthur and Merlin, but also the stories of other famous Briton kings such as Leir, who conquered the area now known as England as well as the surrounding nations, even extending their influence as far as Rome. The history begins with the settlement of Britain by Brutus, the father of the Britons and a descendant of Aeneas, the mythical Trojan founder of Rome, and ends with the conquest of the island by the Angles. Written by one of the later Norman colonizers, Geoffrey’s text creates a narrative exploring the complexities of colonizing a nation of former colonizers. 2 Laȝamon’s text continues this exploration in the vernacular, using the shared landscape to shape a closer relationship between the Anglo-Norman audience and their Briton predecessors by giving their names and stories to the countryside.3 Kings and heroes rise swiftly and fall even faster, buried and absorbed into the land they once ruled, their names and stories permanently inscribed on the landscape. Their corpses, the “boundary that encroaches upon everything,” become part of the reshaping of boundaries in the colonized England.4 This is a history created by Geoffrey and his successors for, rather than by, the Britons.
Therefore, while the corpses shape Briton history within the text, this process is directed by Sir Frederic Madden, K.H., ed. and trans., Laȝamon’s Brut, or Chronicle of Britain. (London: Society of Antiquaries of 1 London, 1847; republished New York: AMS Press, 1970). All translated quotes are from Sir Frederic Madden’s 1847 translation of Laȝamon’s Brut, because it remains the most useful for scholarly purposes. The translation is careful and accurate, although some of the punctuation is problematic, and the edition itself also contains parallel transcriptions of the two primary manuscript versions—Cotton Caligula A.ix and Cotton Otho C. xiii. Because Otho is missing a number of fragments in key places, the quotations I have chosen are from the Caligula version, and the endnotes contain Madden’s diplomatic transcriptions from that same manuscript. Many of the line breaks in the translation are approximate, given the nature of translation.
2 Michelle R. Warren, History on the Edge: Excalibur and the Borders of Britain, 1100-1300, Medieval Cultures Vol. 22 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 25.
3 While I term Laȝamon’s audience as a group “Anglo-Norman,” in reality the Anglo-Saxons themselves had been colonized by the Normans, and the term Anglo-Norman obscures an entire level of colonial complexity that had to be omitted from this discussion, which focuses exclusively on the relationship between the relative newcomers (the AngloSaxons and -Normans) and those they displaced (the Britons, later known as the Welsh).
4 Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, trans. Leon Roudier. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 4.
Laȝamon to reshape the landscape outside the text with room for the Anglo-Norman colonizers.
This process of shaping the geographic and chronological boundaries that divide and bind the colonized Britons of the text and colonizing Anglo-Norman audience is inherently violent, and this violence is reflected in the history the text creates for the Britons.5 As an account of the conflicts between the original residents of the landscape, often Briton versus Briton, Laȝamon’s text is strewn with corpses. These corpses are not merely collateral damage in a tale of conquest and colonization, but are key elements in Laȝamon’s construction of his audience’s landscape.
The landscape forms a stable matrix into which Laȝamon can write these corpses, and thus their stories, for future readers of the land. As Christopher Cannon notes, “the land’s stability through time comes to be its most important characteristic, as if its principal use and interest to people was its capacity to remain unchanged through continuous waves of human happening.”6 In fact, Cannon suggests that the real hero of the text is the island itself rather than the Britons who rule it and whose actions dominate the story. After all, by the time Laȝamon is writing, even the Angles who evicted the Britons from the landscape have themselves been pushed out of power by the Normans, and his Anglo-Norman audience could claim no direct descent from the heroes of the narrative. Yet the landscape Laȝamon shapes in his text is still a familiar one to his audience, and it is through the names dotting this familiar landscape and the bodies that Laȝamon creates in the text to accompany those names that the Britons are made present to the Anglo-Norman audience.
Many medieval English texts treated the English landscape as a neatly enclosed and easily-defined space, a sort of new Garden of Eden functioning as an idealized “point of origin” that “binds together Christian resonance and privilege, ideals of cultivation and pleasure, and colonialist fantasies of a national identity and unity created and endorsed by the island’s bounds.”7 Certainly the landscape does function as the primary ground for English identity in many of these texts. Yet as Catherine Clarke points out, Laȝamon’s text does not describe an idealistic garden space, but instead the negotiation of the multiple warring identities that have been built upon it.8 The focus on the landscape and the violence that has filled it with corpses recognizes the hybridity of the island and its history, instead of presupposing edenic unity, with gestures towards making a clearer space for the Anglo-Normans within the hubbub.
After all, Laȝamon himself is something of a hybrid figure, situated on the Severn River between England and Wales, and revealing mixed feelings toward the Normans as conquerors. He acknowledges, and even celebrates, the natural shifts of language through his recognition of the diverse ways names are given and his use of the vernacular to construct his text. Yet he also scolds the AngloNormans for their appropriation of the British landscape and obliteration of the British identity of the island by changing many Briton place names, as discussed below. This ambivalence toward the linguistic changes made over the years is especially clear when he tells his chosen version of the
Christopher Cannon. The Grounds of English Literature. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 50.
6 7 Catherine Clarke, Literary Landscapes and the Idea of England, 700-1400. (New York: D.S. Brewer, 2006), 7, 1.
8 Clarke, Landscapes, 132.
naming of London, supposedly first named Trinovant, then renamed Kaerlud by the Briton King Lud. As the city is conquered and populated by different cultural groups, the name changes from Lundin to Lundene to Lundres. Laȝamon grieves that
The names of these locations are associated with the identity of the people, and the loss of the name is not just the name but the character of the people. In fact, the change of name from Kaerlud to Lundres disturbs Laȝamon enough that he returns to it about five thousand lines later, passing even stronger judgment on this change. King Lud had named the city after himself, Laȝamon explains, so that “afterwards many a man,/when the king were dead,/should judge of his works.”10 The name is inextricably bound with Lud’s identity, intended to preserve his story even after his death. Once again Laȝamon recounts the series of changes in the name, from the “foreign folk” who called it Lundin, to the Saxons who called it Lundene, concluding when “came Normans/with their evil crafts,/and named it Lundres;/this people they destroyed.”11 The loss of name and the story of the national figure attached to it is associated not only with loss of national identity, but also with craftiness and destruction.
They are “foreign people,/that this land hath conquered,” not only through military force but through erasure of the original identities incorporated in the landscape, when